[[DES_1]]After the 2-0 win over Sevilla at the Vicente Calderón on Sunday, FC Barcelona have lifted the domestic cup for the 28th time in their proud history. The title consolidates their position as the club with the most wins in the Spanish cup, with five more than Athletic Bilbao, with 23 wins but none since 1984, and nine more than Real Madrid, who have taken the cup crown 19 times.
That kind of dominance is extraordinarily rare in Europe. The club with the most domestic cup titles to its name is Linfield of Northern Ireland with 42, while Glasgow’s big two of Celtic and Rangers have 36 and 33 wins to their respective names. Of course, those three had quite a head start on Barça, with their competitions dating back into the 19th century.
Outside of the British Isles, no other club in Europe has won their domestic cup as many times as the 28 that Barça have accumulated between 1912 and 2016. Austria Vienna and Olympiacos come closest with 27 apiece. However, although Benfica are officially accredited as having won the Taça de Portugal 25 times, they do match Barça’s 28 if their three victories in the pre-1939 Campeonato de Portugal are also included.
Focusing on the traditional ‘big five’ of Europe, outside of Spain, the only club that comes remotely close to Barça is Bayern Munich of Germany, who have won the DFB-Pokal eighteen times. The FA Cup might be the world’s oldest football competition, dating all the way back to 1871, but no team has ever won it on more than twelve occasions, Manchester United having equalled Arsenal’s record with their defeat of Crystal Palace on Saturday.
In Italy, Juventus recently beat AC Milan to claim a national record eleventh cup title, while Paris Saint Germain and Olympique Marseille lead the way in France, but ten wins each is a very far cry indeed from Barça’s twenty-eight.
So many wins in the Spanish Cup, one of the toughest club knockout competitions in the world, is a truly staggering achievement. And one that is made all the more impressive when we look around Europe and see how few clubs have managed to replicate such dominance in their own domestic cups.